Sunday Scribbles- I am my Mother’s Daughter

Today is a beautiful Sunday in Vancouver- yes the sky is grey, but there are no raindrops darkening the driveway and as I glance out the kitchen window- I observe a neighbourhood cat trek through the front garden. Most likely picking a nice warm spot to relieve itself.

Listening to CBC this afternoon I am hit smack in the face with some melancholy. Oh how I miss my homeland and family. Even though the flowers are blooming and the grass is green here on the coast, a part of my heart still houses a love of the snowy driveway that trails through the boreal forest to my home, the delayed spring, mom’s tuna casserole… There are so many things I miss- I think that is what is making it easier for me to prepare myself in regards to moving back to Fort St. James for the summer.

Family has been such a important part of my life that it seems that everyday I go without family contact my soul cringes- deep down I thrive on the unconditional love my family shares with me, and I with them.

Soon my mother will be coming to visit me- and I am thrilled.

She is my best friend – we share something so beautiful that living away from her felt strange.

But the distance gave me the space to grow, to find who I was and who I wanted to be, I was able to make mistakes, make gooddecisions, all by myself.

And now, when we get together it seems like nothing has changed but so very much has changed all at the same time. I can’t describe it in words- it’s a feeling. Nobody ever told me that this was a part of growing up.

I am still my mother’s daughter, but I have become my own woman as well.

I am so happy I will be able to celebrate Easter with my best friend.

Yoga, dark chocolate, and good food are in the plans for this easter holiday.

Happy Sunday Lovelies,

xx

 

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Today I got hit by a cat falling from the sky.

It’s raining cats and dogs here. I’m serious, it’s just mind blowing- for a northern kid like me- its rather exciting to wear gum boots and my new rain jacket- it’s rarely justifiable to wear a rain jacket every day in Fort St. James (my homeland)
I do go a bit crazy after a few days of rain – the lack of sunlight gets to me.
But I am trying to embrace the rain- and having a bright purple jacket just makes it much more special.
Being dry and waterproof helps when trying to enjoy the temperate rainforest climate.
So yesterday I did not write a post- I came home from art class so hungry even my arm was looking appetizing – so I made some pasta sauce to go over gluten free pasta, watched an episode of Elementary, then collapsed into my bed and passed out.
I wanted to mention that I am looking for a old kitchen table- I want to make it into a silkscreen table- preferably one that is collapsible – so I don’t drive my family completely crazy with all my art stuff when I move back up north in the summer.
So anybody who is looking at their kitchen table- waiting for an opportunity to go to ikea and buy your dream table- email me for I will take it off your hands.
One thing that I love about myself today is:– my Opus apron that I now live in.

I’m totally digging sculpture class- hopefully I will be accepted into the Studio Arts program at Capilano University- so I can spend more time experimenting and immersing myself in art. So far I’ve had excellent Continuing Education instructors both at ECUAD and Cap.
Today I went grocery shopping- and not much else. Frustrating really- I want to be more productive during my day.
Though I must say- I try to do a few sudoku puzzles everyday.

Did I mention that my final project for silkscreen class is a cartoon if grumpy cat?

One thing I love about myself today is- I was once given a comment about my shoulders, I never really looked at my shoulders before, as something that is pretty to look at, but glancing at the mirror while taking off my sculpture clothes and putting on my fat pants (sweat pants) and a baggy shirt- I try to look at my body like an artist would- I try to see my body as a form, like i was going to draw a figure drawing. Shoulders are such a beautiful part of a woman’s body; the strength intertwined with beauty that runs along the shoulder blades and collarbone, how the muscles and tendons gently wrap the shoulder joints. From any angle- I found I was finding beauty in my shoulders, upper chest, and upper back. I did not think about bingo arms, back fat, or chubby arms- I looked past that, seeing in a metaphorical way how strong my shoulders are, how much weight they have carried and still carry today. How without my shoulders I would not be able to create the art work that I do; I would not have the strength to carry gallons if paint and large canvases home over transit. They are broad, not to muscular, double-jointed, and have a few freckles on the tops from summers of the past, i love them, and plan to do many sketches in front of the mirror.

Goodnight lovelies, xx

Artistic Frustration.

Is it better to be frustrated with your artwork rather than give up completely on it?

The one thing besides my antidepressants that I have at close reach that keeps me from slipping off the tracks is my art.

But when my pen graces virgin paper- I feel like I am destroying, wasting time, and really just doodling like a fucking eight year old.

There is a reason I do not allow people to see my sketch books.

It’s like a weather report of how much my depression is affecting me.

Right now its cold, damp, and sleeting sideways, with a risk of insomnia, self-doubt, and struggle.

xx

Jesus, I’m miserable.

reddit-grumpy-cat-2

Grumpy Cats Like Afghans.

I live with Depression and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Let me define those for you:

Depression –  Taken from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/depression/DS00175

“Depression is a medical illness that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Depression can cause physical symptoms, too.

Also called major depression, major depressive disorder and clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave. Depression can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and depression may make you feel as if life isn’t worth living.

More than just a bout of the blues, depression isn’t a weakness, nor is it something that you can simply “snap out” of. Depression is a chronic illness that usually requires long-term treatment, like diabetes or high blood pressure. But don’t get discouraged. Most people with depression feel better with medication, psychological counseling or other treatment.”

I have been working hard- with the support of family, friends, and my doctor to manage my depression. Some days I truly feel like maybe I have beaten the monster.
Today, the monster fought tooth and nail, left me defenseless and infuriated, and won.
But wait,
it gets better-
here is my other monster

“Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects your large intestine (colon). Irritable bowel syndrome commonly causes cramping, abdominal pain, bloating gas, diarrhea and constipation. Despite these uncomfortable signs and symptoms, IBS doesn’t cause permanent damage to your colon.

Most people with IBS find that symptoms improve as they learn to control their condition. Only a small number of people with irritable bowel syndrome have disabling signs and symptoms.

Fortunately, unlike more-serious intestinal diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome doesn’t cause inflammation or changes in bowel tissue or increase your risk of colorectal cancer. In many cases, you can control irritable bowel syndrome by managing your diet, lifestyle and stress.”

This isn’t new to my life, but I am getting so worn down and my confidence honestly has seen better days. I am frustrated with myself mostly, disappointed, and just plain confused. There are days where being in my body is hell. Being in yoga school is simply magical, but not when you’re running to the staff bathroom constantly [staff bathroom is just one toilet with a door, room spray, and a lock. A blessing in my eyes] and wincing in pain when you spend all day sitting on the floor and doing asanas. I have the kind of IBS where it is both diarrhea and Constipation, alternating as my body wishes.

Some days are a real struggle for me between the IBS pain and embarrassment, and the stress and depressed thoughts. I can really be a pathetic excuse for a youthful glowing 18-year-old.

I just had my mid term exams for my Anatomy and Physiology class, I am at the point that I have IBS flare ups after I eat anything no matter how gluten-free dairy free etc. you can get it.

It seems my body likes the snowball effect.

I get stress/anxiety attack/sad/etc.-I get depressed I get ill- I get depressed because I am ill- more illness- more depression.

My depression and my IBS stems from stress often. So I saw this challenge on the horizon when I enrolled for this college course.

But no matter how prepared I was- with my colon relaxing drugs, strict diet, sleeping pills etc. It still feels like you’ve been thrown against a brick wall, face first, the bricks are sharp, skin tearing, cold, and unforgiving.

Running into “brick walls” happens often.

I am not saying no one else suffers from stress, but I just feel like I should be able to handle this by now. I was diagnosed with the IBS when I was 16, and the depression is being hog tied by the antidepressants. My TMJ headaches I have a pill for that, My Acid reflux- pill for that too, and I take a probiotic just to make my cocktail a larger handful every evening, don’t forget Birth control to help control my IBS and anxiety around that whole situation. God. My night table is a pharmacy.

I started my elimination diet up again. As my body confidence level is a joke. I never was a stick, I resembled more of a stump when I was in that awkward childhood fat stage. Not that I want to be super skinny, but when you feel heavy, dense, bloated, and just disgusted at your own body you want to have some control back. I respect my body, but I am at the point where I stare at myself in a full length mirror, this IBS, this bloated pain, is just so apparent. Its ugly, its distorting, it’s not sexy. I have begun to hate my body for it. I am self conscious, and it’s not like you can take off your abdomen, its permanent, its right there, up front and centre. So when I am having a sick day (which is almost everyday these days) walking by any form of a mirror is avoided. I never set up my mat near the wall mirrors in the yoga studio if I can help it. Putting on jeans is avoided, the pain in my lower large intestine sometimes makes wearing jeans difficult. IBS makes being feminine and sexy difficult. IBS, makes functioning in general difficult.

I just don’t want to be in pain constantly.

So when I was beginning to cry during pranayama practice this morning because of the discomfort, I really felt ashamed.

You can manage IBS, and obviously I haven’t found out how to do that yet.

I was pissed at myself, because I don’t want to miss out on anything because of my health issues.

I felt frustrated, let down, and embarrassed by myself.

I wanted to go home, crawl into bed, and disappear from this world. Maybe dream of an alternate world, where Sally didn’t have to take 7+ pills a day, where Sally didn’t have to constantly remind herself that depressed thoughts are a no no. I am guessing that is where I will also ride unicorns, drink beer, and eat as much cheesy pasta as I want.

Meaning- that will never happen.

I told my instructor that I needed to go home, but she insisted I stay.

I understand the whole bucking up and dealing with it to get my education. But frankly- I knew where I needed to be, and that was home, in bed, hidden from life’s stresses.

How am I supposed to concentrate when in the midst of a lecture, sitting is a no-go because my colon has decided to have a spasm. Nature doesn’t call in this situation. Nature shows up unexpected, giving no fucks whether you double over dry heaving while your colon literally feels like it’s being shredded. If you have ever looked inside a Pike’s mouth, see all those teeth? Okay, turn the pike inside out and then drag if back and forth inside your intestines.

Feels like hell; Doesn’t it?

I am blessed that IBS isn’t ruining my colon- I’ve got the colonoscopy, done the research, etc.

IBS is just ruining me, thats all.

So when I was laying there on my mat, crying in silence and begging my colon to hang in there, I began looking at the clock.

8 hours to go…

7 hours 45 minutes to go…

7 hours to go…

when I got to 6 hours to go- it reminded me of high school, counting down the hours, just wanting to get the hell out of there.

I did not pay good money to do that in a class.

For god’s sake how old am I ?

Self deprecating thoughts come flooding in.

I hate when I feel weak.

I hate giving up.

I hate this.

4th panicked bathroom visit I noticed someone else is in the staff washroom.

Yep.

I’m screwed.

So I got back to my mat, tenderly sat down, and by this time I have no extra energy to plaster a smile on my face anymore.

For years, I have been told “listen to your body”

well – it was time to go home.

I found it hard to approach my instructors. I found I felt ashamed, and undeserving of getting the “permission” that I needed to be excused from class. I had never missed a weekend class in this course. Ever.

I missed one evening Thursday class when I was recovering from my wisdom teeth extractions. But from September to December- that is it.

Maybe it’s just the depression masking how I interpret things but I walked away from that situation feeling like my instructors doubted my dedication, and really were sick and tired of my “whinings”

I myself doubted my actions.

There is no protocol it seems when it comes to have a chronic illness not to mention a mental illness that has a risk of interfering in one’s schooling.

Is it a disability? I don’t know.

I was asked for a doctor’s note if I am going to keep missing classes.

Fine.

I can do that, and I can get excused absences for the 2 classes I have missed.

actually one and a half. since I stayed until noon today.

But I left feeling as if I did something wrong, which caused more stress, more pain, I am pretty sure my face was in a attractive grimace as I sat on the bus, putting my bag on the seat beside me, because frankly bus etiquette was not my top priority at the moment.

I am pretty sure I looked like a grumpy cat…

Grumpy-Cat

I don’t want this to define me, I don’t want this to impact my life in a negative way, I want to win this struggle, I want to conquor.

I descended from fucking bad ass vikings- it’s not in my blood to be labeled as weak.

You never heard of weak vikings, never heard of a viking who whined and complained when all they wanted to do was roll into the fetal position on their yoga mat, you know what they did? they powered through, and got shit done.

Why can’t I do that?

Usually I can grin and bear it- but today I just felt…

different,

I don’t know, emotional? extra depressed? Who knows.

Vikings also raped a lot of women and destroyed a lot of stuff. But right now if I viking was to take a yoga class, I am guessing they wouldn’t hijack and burn the yoga studio down…

I would like to say “no fucks were given today”

But I didn’t really feel that until I was in bed with my blanket over my head, blocking out reality.

Once I finally comforted and cooed my mind- reassuring myself that yes, health first, education second, I could finally doze off and forget about the pain temporarily.

I never liked “giving up” but in today’s situation I have to keep reminding myself that taking care of myself is not giving up.

I am still figuring this out, maybe I am missing some important pieces to my puzzle, but this is my journey.

Just happens to be that my journey includes a lot of bathroom breaks.

xx